Green Dogs of Dahshur

20/03/2020The Dwarfs Of East Agouza Ready Entrancing New Four-Tracker On Akuphone

The COVID-19 quarantine days are slowly but surely creeping up on us and putting our sanity to the test. In a 'Black Mirror'-like scenario our screens have become a welcome escape and the internet a friend in need, as we tirelessly scroll the web in perpetual search of new music to get us through these taxing times. 

Enter Cheb Gero's Akuphone imprint, always leading the way in terms of highly engaging, off-the-beaten-track releases, e.g. Kink Gong, Gamelan Beleganjur, Mushapata, Praed, Seitō and more, situated between pop, folk and 'other'. Definitely fulfilling the prerequisites of 'other' is the latest four-track, avant-garde concoction by American-Egyptian three-piece The Dwarfs of East Agouza, that comes equipped with rabidly catchy artwork by Lebanese artist Lynne Zakhour.

As for the music, well, we would have loved to listen to the whole thing, but the limited edition vinyl and full digital release only arrive a week from today, on March 27th. However, the two available tracks should be more than enough to whet your appetite as they did ours.

Once again, the trio of Alan Bishop (Sun City Girls) on acoustic guitar, bass and alto sax, Sam Shalabi (Land of Kush) on electric guitar and Maurice Louca (Bikya, Alif) on organ, synths and beats "breaks off all constraints to reveal a resolutely free album, offering the listener variations of seductive melodies and unhinged improvised trance, [...] that blurs the boundaries of rock and jazz."

"Bent, Black, and Red" for instance is a slow but steady builder that, over the course of 14 minutes, unfolds its eery charm, casting us into a sci-fi/industrial landscape, folkloristic in detail, that perfectly underlines this borderline schizophrenic age, leaving us absolutely mesmerised. "Black Sun of Intent" on the other hand is half as long, but equally fascinating and dreamlike, in a dystopian way, led by wails of Bishop's alto sax. And though we've said quite a bit, we are actually still at a loss for words. Give this release a listen below. 

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom